Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The Cutter families of New England are descended from English ancestors, and the first persons of that surname of whom there is an authentic record were the Widow Elizabeth Cutter, her two sons and one daughter. These children are said by antiquarians to have been grandchildren of one Cutter, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, but concerning whom no further information apears to be obtainable.
(I) Elizabeth Cutter, widow, with whom our present narrative begins, came to New England about 1640, and died in Cambridge, Mass. Jan. 10, 1663-64. In her will she gave her age as eighty-seven years, but she lived about two years after that instrument was executed she must have been eighty-nine at the time of her death. Three children came with her to this country - William, Richard and Barbara.
William lived in New England about seventeen years, and then returned to his old home at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Richard is the immigrant ancestor of those who bear the Cutter surname in America.
Barbara, the daugher, married Elijah Corlet, the Cambridge schoolmaster.
In the church records of Cambridge the widow Elizabeth is mentioned as "Old Goodwife Cutter," and in a statement made by her she says that she was born in a small place, without church, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne; that she "knew not" the name of her father, who is supposed to have died during her infancy, but her mother sent her, when she was old enough, to Newcastle, where she was placed in a "godly family," and remained about seven years and then became member of another household where religious privileges were less. After the death of her husband she was sent to Cambridge, New England, and "came thither in a time of sickness and through many sad troubles by sea." She had with her in Cambridge, a sister or sister-in-law, widow Isabella Wilkinson, who doubtless came from Newcastle.
(II) Richard Cutter, son of Elizabeth, died in Cambridge, June 16, 1693, aged about seventy-two years. His was one of the first houses built in that part of Camebridge which was called Menotomy, away from the more thickly settled parts of the town, and as a protection against Indian attacks it was provided with "flankers." Two of his sons and two of his stepson were soldiers of King Philip's war in 1675, and they all took part in the expedition into the country of the Narragansetts and in the fierce battle which was fought there.
Richard Cutter married (first) about 1644, Elizabeth Williams, who died March 5, 1661-62, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Stalham) Williams. He married (second) Feb. 14, 1662-63, Frances (Perriman) Amsden, widow of Isaac Amsden.
Richard Cutter was a cooper by trade, and there is still in possession of his descendants the small oaken chest in which he kept his clothing while serving his apprenticeship. He was made freeman in 1641, and joined the Artillery Company of Boston in 1643.
1. Elizabeth, born July 15, 1645.
2. Samuel, born Jan. 3, 1646-47.
3. Thomas, born July 19, 1648.
4. William, born Feb. 22, 1649-50.
5. Gershom, born 1653.
6. Mary, born 1657.
7. Nathaniel, born Dec. 1, 1663.
9. Hepzibah, born Nov. 11, 1667.
10. Elizabeth, born May 1, 1668-69.
11. Hepzibah, born Aug. 15, 1671.
12. Sarah, born Aug. 31, 1673.
13. Ruhamah, born 1678.
(III) William, son of Richard and Elizabeth (Williams) Cutter, was born in Cambridge Feb. 22, 1649-50, and lived in that part of the town called Menotomy, on the banks of the stream flowing from Lexington through Arlington into the Mystic river. He received from the estate of his wife's father an acre of land, and there he built his house and dwelt there until 1717, when he deeded the property to his son John. He then moved to the old Rolfe mansion house, which remained standing until about 1844.
William Cutter was a carpenter by trade, a husbandman and also a miller, owner of considerable land in the town, and evidently a man of prominence. He married Rebecca, daughter of John Rolfe, and both he and his wife were admitted to the church in Cambridge in 1700. Their family Bible is yet in possession of their descendants. Rebecca survived her husband and afterward married June 23, 1724, John Whitmore, Sr.
1. Elizabeth, born March 5, 1680-81.
2. Richard, born Nov. 13, 1682.
3. Mary, born Jan. 26, 1684-85.
4. Hannah, born May 20, 1688.
5. John, born Oct. 15, 1690.
6. Rebecca, born Jan. 18, 1692-93.
7. William, born 1697.
8. Samuel, born June 14, 1700.
9. Sarah, baptized Oct. 18, 1702.
10. Ammi Ruhamah, baptized May 6, 1705.
(IV) Rev. Ammi Ruhamah Cutter, son of William and Rebecca (Rolfe) Cutter, was born in Cambridge, Mass., May 6, 1705, graduated from Harvard College in 1725, and for a time afterward was a surveyor of land. In 1727 he was admitted to communion with the church in Cambridge, and on Sunday, Nov. 10, 1729, as a candidate, he preached his first sermon at North Yarmouth, Maine; and soon afterward became the first settled minister of that town. He continued as spiritual head of the church there until 1735, and then received his letter of dismissal. This was the end of his work in the ministry, but it was not the end of his good works, for his whole life was filled with Christian deeds and acts of moral and physical courage. While living at North Yarmouth he took an active and earnest interest in all public affairs, and performed much clerical work for the inhabitants of the town, writing wills, deeds and other important papers. In 1741 he was appointed town agent at the general court of Massachusetts, and in 1742 was appointed to superintend the Indian trading house on the Saco river, about nine miles above its mouth. There were three such establishments in Maine at that time, and they were selected with particular regard to probity, discretion and character; and as none of the Indians in the vicinity of the agency at which Mr. Cutter was "truck-master" spoke the language of those farther west in New England, he "composed a vocabulary, which yet remains." He was captain of a company in Sir William Pepperell's expedtion for the reduction of Louisburg, his command being attached to Colonel Jeremiah Moulton's York county regiment. After the fall of that stronghold a detachment of troops were detailed to remain at the fortress, during the following wineter, and Captain Cutter was assigned to the position of chief commandant and surgeon.
He died at Louisburg in March, 1746, a victim of the general contagion which prevailed throughout the garrison. On Oct. 13, 1745, he wrote:
"Tis generally a very sickly, dying time through the country, with the usual nervous or slow fever. We have daily tidings of our people dying at Cape Breton, and of many coming home and dying after arrival."
Previous to his dismissal from the church at North Yarmouth, Mr. Cutter married Dorothy Bradbury, sister of Moses Bradbury, one of the first settleres at North Yarmouth and formerly of Newburyport, Mass. "She possessed much of her husband's activity and enterprise, and a character so exalted that her memory is held in the highest veneration by her descendants to the present time."
1. Ammi Ruhamah, born North Yarmouth, March 15, 1735; graduated from Harvard College in 1752; studied medicine and afterward became a prominent character in the civil and military history of the provinces of Maine and New Hampshire.
2. William, born 1737.
3. Samuel, born North Yarmouth, Aug. 7, 1729, died April 27, 1824.
4. Elizabeth, born 1742, died unmarried 1792.
(V) Captain William Cutter, son of Rev. Ammi Ruhamah and Dorothy (Bradbury) Cutter, was born in North Yarmouth in 1737, and was killed by a falling tree June 28, 1776. His correspondence with his brother indicates that he had charge of his father's estate, and it is evident that he had much to do with transacting the town's business. He was a farmer and lived in his father's old mansion house; was captain of militia, selectman of the town, and fourth incumbent of the office of town treasurer, and an excellent citizen. On the day of his death, says one account, accompanied by his sons John and Ammi, both then lads, he proceeded to fell certain trees on his estate, at some distance from his dwelling, on land now (1871) owned by Mr. Rusell. While cutting down one tree it unexpectedly fell and crushed him to the ground. After ineffectually attempting his liberation, he directed the boys to run for assistance, but he died before he could be relieved from his unfortunate position.
Captain Cutter married Mehitable, daughter of Andrew and Zeruiah (Standish) Gray, of North Yarmouth, and a descendant of Captain Myles Standish. Zeruiah Standish was the great-granddaughter of both Myles Standish and John Alden, her father Ebenezer being the son of Alexander Standish, son of Myles, the said Alexander having married a daughter of John Alden.
Capt. Wm. & Mehitable (Gray) Cutter had 8 children:
1. Sarah, born June 30, 1760, died June 14, 1843; married John David, died Oct. 29, 1798.
2. Jane, probably twin with Sarah; married (first) ____ Gage; (second) Elisha Gardner, of Exeter, N. H.
3. Phebe, born June 5, 1764; married Aug. 25, 1785, Dr. Ammi Ruhamah Mitchell, of North Yarmouth.
4. John, born 1767; married (first) Elizabeth Bucknam Loring, died July 20, 1821; married (second) Mrs. Mary Jones Bearce.
5. Ammi, born Feb. 2, 1770, died Sept. 18, 1825; married Nov. 13, 1794, Hannah Cushing Greeley.
6. Samuel, died North Yarmouth March 23, 1776, aged four years.
7. Levi, born May 22, 1774.
8. Captain William, born Oct., 1776; was a mariner and was lost at sea near Cape Sable about 1815; married (first) Rachel Mitchell, (second) Isabella Babson.
(VI) Levi Cutter, son of Capt. William and Mehitable (Gray) Cutter, was born in North Yarmouth, Maine, May 22, 1774, and died in Portland, Maine, March 2, 1856. His father having been killed in 1776 by a falling tree, the family was left largely in care of the mother, a woman of great energy and ability. Her children were all young and were taught at an early age that they must rely upon their own efforts and make their own way in life. Levi had only the advantages of a common school education, and at the age of fourteen became himself a teacher. As was customary in those days, he had in his classes pupils of adult age, but he early manifested the executive power which so distinguished his after life, and he was a highly successful teacher. He also was early taught in the Westminster cathechism and became so familiar with it that he could repeat the whole of it, question and answer. In 1791 he made a public profession of religion and in the same year united with the First Congregational Church of North Yarmouth. In 1801 he took a letter of dismissal to the Second Congregational Church of Portland, and continued his membership there until the time of his death, being for many years a deacon of the church. He began business as a merchant in North Yarmouth, but suffered heavy losses by the "French spoilations prior to 1800." About 1803 he removed to Portland, and for many years engaged in banking and insurance business. and still later was a member of the firm of N. & L. Dana & Co.
Several years before his death Mr. Cutter retired from active pursuits. From 1838 until the time of his death he was a corporate member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and for many years a member of the board of governors of Bowdoin College, and vice-president of the board. He also was an active member of the old fire department, and in 1834 was elected mayor of Portland, which office he filled six years.
In Sept., 1796, Mr. Cutter married (first) Lucretia Mitchell, who died April 13, 1827, daughter of David and Lucretia (Loring) Mitchell, and sister of Dr. A. R. Mitchell, of North Yarmouth. He married second) Nov. 18, 1833, Mrs. Ruth (Kendall) Jenkins, of Newburyport, Mass. She died in April, 1862.
Children, all of 1st wife:
1. Lucretia Loring, born N. Yarmouth Aug. 3, 1797, died Clinton, Iowa, Oct. 12, 1861; married Aug. 10, 1819, Rev. Petrus Stuyvesant Ten Broeck.
2. David Mitchell, born Sept. 9, 1798, died Dec. 16, 1836.
3. Harriet, born Feb. 19, 1800, died March 28, 1863; married July 8, 1835, Joseph Adams, of Salem, Mass.
4. William, born May 15, 1801; married May 29, 1828, Margaret W. Dicks.
5. Angela, born Feb. 16, 1803; married March 9, 1830, John Dafforne Kinsman.
6. Elizabeth Jane, born Nov. 5, 1804, died Sept. 8, 1806.
7. Julia Ann, born Aug. 26, 1806, died Dec. 28, 1830; married Aug. 31, 1829, Samuel Cutler.
8. Jane Maria, born May 21, 1808, died Sept. 19, 1848; married Sept. 1, 1832, Oliver B. Dorrence, of Portland, merchant.
9. Edward Francis, born Jan. 20, 1810; married Dec. 5, 1833, Mary Eliza McLellan.
10. Delia Swift, born July 15, 1812, died Sept. 16, 1865; married July 8, 1835, Joseph Buckminster Gardner.